Skincare: Nordic glow at drugstore prices with Lumene Valo

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I rarely find drugstore beauty brands very inspiring. They can be convenient, they're usually affordable, but I don't often stumble upon one that makes me daydream of frost covered forests and Northern lights. Which is exactly what Lumene does. This brand from Finland creates skincare infused with ingredients from the Arctic, and I had the opportunity to try two products from their Valo brightening range: the Glow Boost Essence and the Arctic Berry Cocktail. They can make my mind travel to Nordic countries, but did they do anything for my skin? Let's find out!

The Valo [Light] line is formulated to brighten and even skin tone for a more radiant, glowing complexion. It combines stabilized vitamin C, known to reduce dark spots and ease dullness, with pure Arctic spring water and with Arctic Cloudberry, one of Lumene's star ingredients.

This wild berry grows in marshes in Nordic countries and is adapted to thrive in a very harsh environment: freezing temperatures and a succession of long dark winters with absolutely no sunlight for months on end followed by short summers with 24/7 daylight. This berry's resilience is due to its high concentration of micronutrients and antioxidants, which inspired Lumene to include it in its brightening skincare products. The fruit is a very good natural source of vitamin C but is also rich in carotenoids (vitamin A precursors), vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (in its seeds).

Any plant extract can contain beneficial antioxidants, but I'm particularly intrigued by this little berry that can survive the darkness of Nordic winter and still grow fast enough to produce its fruits during the short summer season. If anything, this ingredient's story makes me want to use my skincare products more. As we all know the secret to an efficient skincare routine is consistency, so the cloudberry definitely helps me!


cloudberry hyaluronic acid normal to oily skin

The Glow Boost Essence contains extracts from both the fruits and the seeds of the Arctic Cloudberry, but also ascorbyl glucoside (a stable form of vitamin C) and two types of hyaluronic acid. I really like that Lumene combined their antioxidant complex with hyaluronic acid, which is such a great substance to increase moisture level in the skin. HA is one of my favorite ingredients to find in skincare as it always helps me with dehydration, making my skin more plump and my fine lines less visible.

This product is a lightweight clear gel that comes in a pretty orange frosted glass bottle with a dropper. I use 4-5 drops that I dispense on my fingertips, then gently rub onto my face. It's absolutely not greasy and it penetrates very quickly, leaving no weird residue on the surface of the skin. An "essence" is a sort of supercharged toner, so this Glow Boost is to be used after you cleanse and before you moisturize. If you have a very complete skincare regimen that includes all the possible steps, this is where it should fit: cleanser - toner - essence - serum - moisturizer.

I've used it mostly in lieu of serum and it worked great this way for me, since the hyaluronic acid has hydrating properties as well. I find the Glow Boost Essence to provide a good amount of moisture for a gel, and I really like the fresh, lightweight texture. It has a very subtle fruity scent and does contain a small amount of fragrance (last ingredient in the official list).

Besides finding it very pleasant to use, I also feel like the Glow Boost Essence leaves my skin plump and soft. It definitely makes a difference in how healthy and hydrated my skin looks. As for the effect of the vitamin C paired with the brightening complex, they're harder to measure but I do notice that my skin looks more radiant and luminous. I didn't take my bottle with me when going on a week-long trip recently and I started seeing more dullness and shadows on my face after a few days of not using it.


oil dry mature skin

While the Glow Boost looked similar to other vitamin C serums I had used in the past, this Arctic Berry Cocktail is unlike anything I had ever seen before. It's a bi-phase fluid where the two "halves" are bright inviting colors: yellow and berry pink. You have to shake the glass bottle well then press the pump to dispense what Lumene calls the Hydra-Oil.

This product feels like a face oil, so I would recommend it primarily to people with dry skin. I find it a bit too heavy and oily to use on my combo skin during the day. I can use it at night, but I've actually mostly been applying it to my neck and decollete after the shower. I spend a lot of time (and money) layering antiaging skincare on my face, but I often forget these two areas - and sadly you can tell, that's where I see my first real wrinkles showing up. So it's a good opportunity for me to pamper my neck and decollete with a rich oil packed with antioxidants!

The Arctic Berry Cocktail has a very exciting formula for those with dry or mature skin: it's loaded with plant extracts and hydrating ingredients. Of course there's Lumene's iconic cloudberry and a stable for of vitamin C (this time as ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, an oil-soluble version), but there's also jojoba, avocado, cranberry, sea buckthorn, sunflower, squalane, glycerin and more. This Cocktail is definitely a very replenishing one for skins that need not just brightening but also nourishing properties. This one also has a subtle fruity scent that I find very uplifting.


These two products were my first experience with Lumene and so far I am very impressed with the brand. Their packaging is top quality and beautiful, their background story of Nordic culture is compelling, and they include rare exciting ingredients in otherwise solid skincare formulas. The Glow Boost is something I could recommend to anyone looking for an affordable vitamin C serum - it's as good as similar products you'll find at Sephora for more than double the price. Oily skins in particular would love that it's lightweight and non-greasy. The Arctic Berry Cocktail on the other hand could be a life-changer for people with dry or mature skin looking for a treatment that provides both rich moisture and brightening antioxidants, plus it looks really pretty on your counter. Next step for me: try Lumene's Lähde range of deeply hydrating products!


The Lumene brand can be found at Target, CVS and Walgreens. As always with drugstore brands you can bring the cost down even more with sales and coupons!

The products featured in this review were provided to me by the brand for consideration. I received no compensation other than free samples to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on or shop through those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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